Tobacco Factory



4  January - 23 February, The Snug

Matthew Hodge is a Bristol based Artist originally from Manchester.

He is interested in the process of making and what that means in a digital age. Coming from a traditional Fine Art background his interests lie in how painting, drawing and collage techniques translate into a digital medium.

His current work, the ‘Cut and Stick’ series, focuses on collage, creating a digital image from a series of fantastic wall paper patterns to recreate layered and intricate images, that invite the viewer in to find hidden details and features.



1 - 27 February, Main Bar

We invite the talented final year Illustration students at UWE back to showcase an eclectic range of their artwork.

Come see a diverse show of individual and exciting skills, for this annual celebration of new illustration.

Opening night: Thursday 4 Feb, from 7.30pm
with Soulworks DJs and plenty of creative fun.

RSVP here


29 February - 31 March, Main Bar

Stephen Quick is a Bristol based artist, live painter and YouTuber, his art represents contemporary culture by embracing and satirising our materialistic nature. His work is a mix of fine art and street art, mashing up media, as well as icons from different worlds.

Using spray paint, acrylic, ink, découpage and stencils, he creates mixed-media pieces, on walls and canvases, for the outside world, galleries and internet.

From his Bristol studio, ‘Splintered Studios’, his work sells worldwide. Recent highlights include painting at Upfest 2015, winning the PaintWorks Pop Up event, organising the South Bristol Arts Trail and surpassing 1 million views on YouTube.



24 February - 19 April, The Snug

A Loquacious Mind is a unique photography and illustration collaboration. The exhibition is a combination of the old and the new – using an alternative photographic process merged with modern illustration to create a beautiful art series. 

Romantic, distinctive and enchanting, the female subjects in the images are entwined with flowers, fluid lines and pattern; where eerie undertones undermine the delicacy of the subject matter. The series was originally inspired by the paintings of Alphonse Mucha.

The collaboration began with contemporary photographer, Joanna Ritchie. Her love of detail, pattern and shape spurred the idea of bringing together photographic imagery with elaborate illustration. The shooting process was the beginning of the creative journey with Lisa-Maria Thomas, a make-up artist inspired by art and colour; and Lucy Heather, a stylist from the world of high fashion, forming the back bone of the project. Later completing the artistic clan came Ollie Gooch, whose illustrations are intricate and stylized, perfectly finishing the images with unique patterns.

The pieces are produced using Gum Bichromate; an unpredictable Nineteenth Century method of printing using UV light, negatives and colour pigment. Combining this with Gum Arabic and Ammonium Bichromate, the end result is unique and exciting; no two images are the same. This technical method unites the photography and illustration, producing an emotive final image with a Victorian decorative aesthetic.

Since the debut exhibition in May 2014, the art collective have begun making a success in the world of weddings. From this, it seemed appropriate to feature real women in the place of models, entwining darkly lit female forms in A Loquacious Mind’s signature patterns. This series focuses more on texture, detail and shape.



2 - 30 April, Main Bar

Lady Strong's Bonfire presents The Bed

'Our Bed knows us best of all. It is holder of our dreams, comforter of our tears. It soaks up our blood, our sweat, and caresses us in the heat of our passions. It confines us. Heals us. Welcomes us when we arrive, and is the last to say goodbye to us when we leave. Here we are all naked. The Bed sees through all our disguises.'

Tomasin Cuthbert trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and is a Theatre Maker, Performer and Fine Artist. In her first solo exhibition at The Tobacco Factory Cafe Bar, her paintings explore the themes present in Lady Strong's Bonfire's new show, opening this May at The Wardrobe Theatre.

The Bed is the journey of a woman and is a celebration of some of the most potent times in her life. The times of changeover. Her gateway times from One to Other. Investigating the inner world of the Feminine, we don our animalistic disguises, and journey from domesticity, into the landscapes of the dream world.



1 August - 27 September, The Snug

A contemporary celebration of iconic imagery of the tobacco industry

Deep in the heart of the M-shed stores, over 70 Lithographic stones have been stored, gathering a nice layer of dust and slowly disintegrating beyond recognition. These time forgotten stones, discovered in the blitzed basement of the Mardons printing house were once used to mass-produce the images from W.D and H.O Wills tobacco. A previous collaboration of two pillars of the Bristol history, producers of classic images well-known to this day.

The project brings these iconic prints into a contemporary setting. By inviting practicing artists, tech-companies, design-houses, illustrators and printmakers, to respond to the original images it will open doors into new developments in design. The influence of modern technology and contemporary styles will give a fresh face to the timeless pieces. They will come together in one multi-disciplinary, multi-facited exhibition, set where it all began..... The Tobacco Factory.




4 - 30 January, Main Bar


The drawing process and an interest in mark making is at the centre of Jessica Bartlett's artistic practise. She predominantly creates her work by burning an image into the painted surface of a canvas with a tool, like a soldering which has a fine tip that can heat up to a range of controllable temperatures. The pyrographic mark is interesting to her as it is being creative through destruction. The burnt line is in effect a scar and therefore a metaphor for memory, a reoccurring theme in her work.

She is interested in looking at the overlooked and trying to capture a fleeting moment. Objects like leaves and feathers are of interest to her as they have all come from something bigger that was once alive and so are in effect traces or an echo of life. They are the remnants and ephemera of the life once there.

She has a further interest in the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, the acceptance of impermanence with the idea that everything is evolving from or into nothingness and that truth comes from the observation of nature. She hopes to capture the transitory nature of the leaf through a simplified drawing of it. The areas of blank white canvas are as important as the drawn lines as this gives an overall feeling of quietness or absence to the work.



14 October - 29 December, The Snug

Six artists exhibit their personal exploration of place:

Chiltra Karve, Anna Francis, Miriam Mallaleu, Ashley Thomas, Gareth Wood (AKA Fuller) and Ian McConaghy

Each with a unique direction: using maps both physical and metaphorical, creating 2D and 3D artwork. Neither a compass nor GPS will help you circumnavigate their experiential look at Art through Maps.



26 October - 29 November, Main Bar


With the theme of light so closely linked to colour, Emilia Mildmay's new exhibition draws inspiration from everyday objects and design and neatly brings all of these facets together in a series of strikingly bold paintings.

Using three colours to create an image, she not only contrasts the ways the colours respond to each other, but also highlights the fascinating concept of colour itself.



28 September - 25 October, Main Bar

Molly Goldwater draws on the scale and rollering techniques of previous paintings and adds an aesthetic developed through her recent MA using screen and mono-print, to create a series of bold, striking canvases titled ‘Playing at print'.

Goldwater stresses the juxtaposition and interplay between varying materials, speeds of application and fields of colour. Some areas meditated, whole and solid - others impulsive, washy, awkward. The repeated shapes and gestures of line become an alphabet which explore the contrasts between these varying elements.

A Bristol based painter and printmaker, Molly has completed a BA in Painting and a Masters in Multidisciplinary Printmaking.



28 August - 13 October, The Snug

Concentrating on super close-up portraits of owls such as the Snowy Owl, Great Grey Owl and the Ashy-Faced Owl, this stunning exhibition by Bristol photographer Paul Groom is the result of a year’s collaboration with the founder and handlers at renowned owl centre ICBP (The international Centre for Birds of Prey).  Paul's love of owls was inspired by his grandmother who devoted much of her life to looking after sick birds, and wrote several books describing her amazing work with them. 

The exhibition, showing owls in all their beautiful and intriguing detail, is a personal project to celebrate Paul Groom’s ten years as a full time professional photographer who specialises in portraiture, editorial and commercial photography.


Space Explorations

September 14th - 24th, Main Bar

The Larks and Ravens will be occupying the Tobacco Factory for two weeks from September 24th, inviting people to explore perspectives, myths and questions around Climate Change.

The Exhibition, which hopes to trigger new conversations and different ways of thinking, will culminate on Thursday 24th September with a 'Speed dating with Spectres' evening which is open to all, and offers the chance to take conversations further. From 6:30-8pm.



24 August - 27 September, Main Bar

Six of Bristol's finest photographers have been challenged to produce an image specifically for this exhibition to mark Bristol’s Green Capital of Europe award.

The brief was broad and simple;  that all the images must be of Bristol and incorporate a (non motorised) wheel or shape of a wheel.

Each of the photographers have focused on different subjects with their own particular style of photography. Kate Westaway is one of the world’s most accomplished underwater photographers, Mark Billington (photo credit) specialises in portraiture, architecture and interiors and Zoe Mack, ARPS is a travel, portrait and wedding photographer.  Others taking part are wildlife and landscape photographer Jody Fairish, conceptual photographer Sam Green and landscape photographer Unai Pena.